Where’d My Dental Benefits Run Off To?

dental benefits graphic

Come January 1, 2022, you don’t want to issue “a hard-target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse, and doghouse in [your] area. Checkpoints go up at 15 miles! Our fugitive’s name is Your Dental Benefits. Go get [them].”

Don’t worry – MFD is here to make sure you maximize the benefits you’ve already earned to get you the care you need while keeping as much money in your pocket as possible. 

We know that insurance companies can be prickly… to say the least. They make sure to throw us providers, and you patients, little curveballs along the way to keep us guessing. 

If you don’t ask the right questions at the right times, terms like waiting period, downgrade, and benefit period can mean the difference between getting you the care you need when you need it or forcing you into a few difficult decisions about your finances or health. 

In order to avoid difficult decisions, let’s get some definitions out of the way

  • Annual maximum – This is the total amount of money the dental benefits provider—say Delta Dental—will pay for a member’s dental care within a 12-month period.
  • Deductible – a specified amount of money that the insured (you) must pay before an insurance company will pay a claim.
  • Benefit period – … 

Here’s how your dental insurance’s benefit period plays a role in your dental care

Dental insurance plans will give you a 12 month period to use your dental benefits allotted for the year. Once that period is complete, your plan resets and you begin a new benefit period. 

Many dental insurance plans run their benefit period from January 1 to December 31. What that means is that if you have not used all of your annual maximum by December 31, that money vanishes like it’s the memory of someone who’s been shown that penlight from Men In Black.

It’s true – if you don’t use it, you lose it…

But let’s get away from the doom and gloom a bit, shall we?

This information can be used as a tool for good! We are regularly working with patients to make sure that we time up their treatment needs to fall on the exact right dates. 

For example – if you’re in need of fillings, crowns, and root canals (oh my!), we can get the root canal and fillings done the last week of December, let your plan reset January 1st, and get you in the office the first week of January to protect your tooth with that brand new crown. 

In another scenario, we could complete the first half of your deep cleaning in December then finish up January 4th. 

In either of the above scenarios, if you’re not aware of when your benefit period starts and finishes, the total amount of your annual maximum, or how your deductible comes into play, it’s easy to spend more than you should on the care you need. 

Happy patients are MFD’s best friends

And we’ve found that patients are happiest when we’re helping them improve their smiles while getting their insurance plan to foot the bill. 

Do you want to maximize your dental benefits? Give us a call – we’d love to help!